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imodium. get back out there. good morning, welcome to a brand-new hour of msnbc live. i'm carlos watson. after tensions at the town halls across the country president obama tries to reclaim the health care debate today and breaking for big opposition out west as he has a town hall meeting today in montana and another one tomorrow in colorado. in washington, it's damage control. the white house downplays reports it made an $80 billion back room deal with drugmakers. spilling secrets. why is the man known for keeping secrets now penning his own tell-all? is cheney trying to score or settle with his former boz president bush? good morning, everyone. i'm carlos watson.
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terrific hour coming to you. republicans strategist kevin madden and sarah taylor and laura tyson and plus we talk to the filmmakers behind hbo new documentary "the fixer." and savannah guthrie at the white house and prime time ed shultz is joining us in the studio. here are the top headlines. nbc news obtained dramatic video of the air collision over the hudson river. it's incredibly disturbing to watch. a warning to people. it captured the moment where a plane and helicopter collided and killed all nine board. a final farewell to eunice shriver kennedy. friends and family are gathered today in massachusetts to say good-bye to the 88-year-old humanitarian who is most notably associated with the founding of the special olympics. thousands pay their respects
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to navy pilot scott speicher who has shot down during the 1991 gulf war and remembered as a hero to his family and his country. >> he represents the best of the best. he was committed to living by a higher standard than most. he honored his family. he honored this community and he truly honored our great nation. >> speicher's remains were just identified a few weeks ago. i want to introduce my co-host this morning. each morning on msnbc live, i welcome someone to join me for the morning. pleased to have back carrie ellerksvelt. what an interesting week for the white house given all of these town halls. interesting piece whether the white house has lost ground in this august recess. what is your perspective? >> i think it's tough. they have real problems because it looks like they are alienate
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progressive. in terms of health care specifically i think they have a lot of work to do and i think at some point the president has to draw lines in the sand and he hasn't done that yet. >> interesting whether the president will be successful and having other effective advocates. we know he is on the road today in montana and in colorado tomorrow and earlier this week in new hampshire. i thought what president clinton did so well during his term is have james carville and others who were effective advocates during difficult times. i don't know that president obama has, do you know what i mean? >> he is really shouldering this burden. i think cbs mark noeler put out today that yesterday was the first time that he had not been seen by white house reporters. he had only been seen by white house reporters not been seen eight days, i'm sorry.
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i'm screwing this up. eight days in his own presidency not seen by white house reporters. that means he is out there front and center all the time. and it will be interesting to see if montana today, because politico is also reporting that it might be a little bit more contentious situation in that town hall. >> certainly something we will watch on friday. in fact, speaking of the white house. president obama is headed out west right now. the white house calls myths about the bill. the president and mrs. obama just took off from andrews air force base and land in a few hours. the president's town hall gets under way at 3:00 p.m. eastern time. with us to talk more about it is nbc white house correspondent savannah guthrie. good to see you. >> hi, carlos. >> savannah, how unfriendly could this crowd be? is there truly significant concern that the president might be greeted there in a less than friendly way? >> oh, i don't know that it's concern but i think there is the potential for the president to experience firsthand this new
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town hall dynamic we have seen in some town halls around the country. because this is a small locality they were able to distribute tickets on a first come, first served basis. you may get some more dissenting views. yesterday in new hampshire it seemed like the president was saying, skeptics raise your hands. he wants to engage. he wants to answer these questions. there is the possibility he may face a more unruly crowd. i just spoke to a senior adviser at the white house. at one point, they make again and again, they feel like cable is overblowing, playing and replaying the worst of the town halls and think by and large what they are hearing from members of congress around the country, mr. town halls are pretty boring. that is their respective and we'll see what happens in the president's town hall later in the day. >> savannah guthrie, thank you so much. we shift gears to a live press conference in philadelphia where we see tony dungy, the former
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super bowl winning coach and former coach of the indianapolis colts who was brought in to help michael vick. you remember that michael vick was a star quarterback for the atlanta faleds falcons and convicted in a horrific dog-fighting scheme and ultimately sent away to federal prison. was released and just announced now has been signed by the philadelphia eagles. one of the conditions he got mentoring from this man, the man you're seeing there, tony dungy. not only an impressive coach, but also an -- an award-winning author. we may hear shortly from michael vick himself. >> a long conversation about where i felt mike was and i'm just really happy that things turned out this way. i'm proud of the philadelphia eagles. i know they didn't do this as a charity measure. they feel like mike is going to help their football team and be a weapon for them. but they also stepped out to
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give a man a second chance and i think that's important. i've done a lot of work with in ex-offends in tamp at last 15 years. the last case i was involved in in indianapolis was getting together with mayor there on a re-entry program. we have roughly 4,000 inmates every year that come back into the city of indianapolis and marion county there and we wanted to structure some things to make it easier for those young men who have made mistakes, to come back and be productive. and i think that's what this is all about. so i'm proud of the eagles. i think it's going to work out great. i told mike i didn't think he could be with a better organization from my dealings with andy and jeffrey lurie and joe banner. i know they will have a great support system here in place for them and i'm also very proud of donovan mcnabb, you know, he went out of his way to tell coach reid we should make this happen, this guy can pep help us
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but also he's a friend and i want to make it good for him. i think you see a semblance of great leadership and christian forgiveness. i'm excited for mike, happy for him and just want to be helpful in any way possible. i told andy, you know, i don't want to overstep my bounds, but i'll be there to help him in any capacity he wants and that is basically why i'm here and why i'm involved. with that, i will turn it over to mike. >> first off, i would like to express my gratification to jeff lure -- lurie and coach reid for giving me this opportunity. i know as we all know in the past, i made some mistakes. i've done some terrible things. made a horrible mistake. and now i want to be part of the solution and not the problem. i'm making conscious efforts in
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the community to work with the humane society and, hopefully, i can do that locally and continue with my dealings and efforts and bringing awareness to animal cruelty, you know, and, you know, dog-fighting in the inner cities and our communities. i want to say thank you to -- send a special thanks to donovan mcnabb. he's a great friend and for reaching out to andy and just, you know, giving andy the time to think about, you know, the decision that he made and bringing me in. i now know that playing in the nfl is a privilege and not a right and, you know, i want to do whatever is necessary and be the best ambassador for the nfl and the community. i want to send a special thanks to my family, my fiancee and my
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mom and my dad, you know, everybody who influential and helping me change as an individual. i want to say thank you to commissioner goodell and thank you to tony, tony dungy who is serving as my mentor and also being influential in my walk and helping re-define me as an individual and, you know, just giving me the proper advice and being there and having open dialogue with me at all times. i want to say thank you to my agent joe segal, who has been there through the ups and downs and through the hardest times of my life. judy smith, as well as, you know, other people who have contributed and my comeback. once again, i know everybody is
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thinking why philadelphia? first off, i think it's one of the flagship organizations, a great tradition, great staff, great organization, a winning team. they have a great team in place and i just want to be a part of that great tradition and give this team every opportunity to win a super bowl. this is -- i'm considering this my first year, first year back, you know, not trying to come out, you know, not -- just trying to fit in whywherever i can, get acclimated and just do whatever i can to help this team succeed and reach the super bowl. with that said, i know i probably left some people out who i probably need so send a special thanks to. i'm sorry. but you all know who you are. and i will continue to, you know, serve in our community, continue to do all of the right things, and continue to help
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young individuals out in this world from going down the same path that i went down. i'm excited about the opportunity and with that said, i open it up for questions and i'lling willing to answer any of them. [ inaudible question ] >> you know, i addressed that. i made poor judgment, you know, bad decisions in my life, you know, and, you know, i had to reach a turning point and prison definitely did it for me. but it was totally unnecessary and uncalled for. >> [ inaudible ] a day like this [ inaudible ]? >> it's a is a surreal feeling right now. i was optimistic it would happen one day but i knew it was going to be a long process and, you know, we, as a people, we fear
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the unknown and i'm just happy that i have the opportunity now. i'm glad that coach reid and the rest of the organization stepped forward. donovan was very instrumental in that and i'm glad that i got the opportunity and a second chance. you know, i won't disappoint. >> point of any offense been involved [ inaudible ] background. why are you willing to come back? >> i've been away from the game for two years and i got to start somewhere. i got to crawl before i walk. you know, i can't imagine going out, you know, after two-year hiatus and going out and trying to, you know, be a starter for a football team. i just don't think it can happen with as much god-given ability that i have, i don't think that i would be able to do it. i think i could, but i wouldn't risk it, and, you know, i need time, you know, to get my feet wet and get acclimated, like i
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said, before. i thought this was the perfect situation, perfect scenario and i can come in and i can learn from donovan. i just -- he is one of the premiere quarterbacks in the game and one of the best at it. with everything he has learned and the way he has been polished has come from coach reid so i want to get with those two and do as much as i can to become a complete quarterback and i have time to do it. >> hold on one second. go ahead. you. >> strong number of people who always [ inaudible ] killed and tortured. those people [ inaudible ]? >> i was wrong for what i did. everything that happened at that point in time in my life was wrong and, you know, it was unnecessary and, you know, to the life of me to this day, i can't understand why i was
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involved in such a pointless activity and why did i risk so much that depended on my career. i was naive to a lot of things. but i figure if i can, you know, help more animals that i hurt, then i'm contributing and i'm doing my part. >> ma'am, you go ahead. >> said about [ inaudible ] is there a sign, no matter how [ inaudible ] might [ inaudible ]? >>, you know, i think, you know, everybody deserves a second chance. you know, we all have issues. we all deal with certain things and, you know, we all have our own -- in our life. i think as long as you're willing to come back and do it the right way and do the right things and that you're committed, then i think you deserve it, but you only get one shot at a second chance and i'm
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conscious of that. >> take us back what you're going through. is there a time [ inaudible ] shouldn't be at that point? >> well,, you know, i mean, we all use the excuse it was part of our culture and, you know, i don't think that's an excuse. you know, i was kind of, you know, abiding by that rule at the time and, you know, as i grew older and things started to transpire and then when i went to prison, you know, i had plenty of time to think about what i did and i've seen people's reactions. up and to that point, i never really cared. i won't say i never cared, but i never thought about it. now i understand that people care about their animals, they care about their health, the welfare, the protection of animals, and now i do. so that's why i say if i can,
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you know, help more than i hurt and i'm contributing, i'm doing what i need to do. >> mr. vick, with respect to the fans and are you ready? >> hopefully, it's positive. the position i play and the national football league in general, you know, fans require a lot of out of the players and we have to go out and put on great performance and we got to, you know, put on a show for them, we got to win at the end of the day. you know, sometimes they are good and sometimes they're not so good but that's a part of the game and that is part of this business. [ inaudible question ] >> i just -- i have to keep pushing forward and try to do more good than bad and make, you know, the plays or when i have an opportunity to play down the road, because that's when it's
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going to be, i do the things necessary to not get a negative reaction but up until then, it's life, i have to deal with it and i got to make a lot of people believe out of me. >> michael, what your is opinion -- whether a second chance -- philadelphia what do you plan to do off the field to try to prove to the community you're worth a second chance here in philadelphia? >> i think my actions will speak louder than my words. i think, you know, to be proactive and to be involved in the community. people will see that in due time. i partnered up with the humane society and, you know, we've consciously been, you know, working hard to, you know, reach out and to certain inner cities and certain communities to make sure we attack the problem. [ inaudible question ] >> no. >> [ inaudible question ]
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>> well, as i said, i did talk to about a dozen coaches. you don't know exactly how serious things were and i don't think that's important. i know in talking to mike, we really focused on this situation and i told him what i knew about mr. lurie, about andy -- >> we've just been watching the press conference with michael vick, former atlanta falcons star quarterback, who went away to prison on dog-fighting charges. he has just been released and more than released, he has been signed by the philadelphia eagles. another football team to be their reserve quarterback. we just heard from michael vick. ed shultz, i'll turn to you first. former college quarterback yourself, former sports director, sports junky. what did you make of this? impressed, surprised, expected? >> well, first of all, he has people of the utmost character and integrity around him.
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tony dungy is the gentleman of the national football league. andy reid, tremendous football coach, has managed a lot of personalities and dealt with a lot of situations in his career. what was so interesting about that is that was the most we've heard from michael vick in more than two years. in fact, he's not known for giving long press conferences and going on. he was not repetitive. he is well thought out. and i believe he is rendering a true heart here that he wants to be a part of the solution and not the problem and part of rehabilitation, the american people have to realize is getting a job. this is no great reward for michael vick. this is what he does for a living. and he believes in a second chance and i thought a key statement was he realized that there aren't a lot of second chances and he has to make the most of it. actions have to speak louder than words. i think the road to recovery, this could be a real lesson for america and i think peta needs to back off. they came out with a statement
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yesterday. >> you think they are pushing too hard? >> i think they are pushing too hard. i think part of rehabilitation is giving a man or a woman a comeback and prove they have been impacted that the sentence that was imposed on him, that restitution has been done and this is all part of recovery and i tell you, as far as the football thing is concerned, player acceptance is going to mean a lot. >> kerry, what do you think as you watch michael vick, as ed shared, speak as much as we've heard from him in a couple of years? >> i mostly agree with ed. the deal is i'm an animal lover. i'll say that right out. at the same time, our country really has to learn how to provide re-entry and rehabilitation and we incarcerate at way too high rates in this country. i totally agree with ed that this is a chance, an opportunity to see that through to watch what has happened and maybe learn something from it in the process. >> michael vick as impressive a football player as there was and
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highest football player before this happened. we're going to take a quick break right now. when we come back, we will have kevin madden, the republican strategist, join us and former bush white house political director. ed and kerry will also be with us. we'll be right back. it seems like the world will never be thsame. but there is a light beginning to shine again. the spark began where it always begins. at a restaurant downtown. in a shop on main street. a factory around the corner. entrepreneurs like these are the most powerful force in the economy. they drive change and they'll relentless push their businesses to innovate and connect. as we look to the future, they'll be there ahead of us, lights on, showing us the way forward. this is just the beginning of the reinvention of business. and while we're sure we don't know all the answers,
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for the kids, a better environment. for my wife, who commutes, no more gettin' jerked around on gas prices... and for me, well, it wouldn't be so bad if this breadwinner brought home a little more bread. repower america. i hope our senators are listening. welcome back to msnbc live. i'm carlos watson. let's bring in our panel. we're joined by kevin madden, republican strategist and former romney communications manager. also joined by sarah taylor and former political director for president bush and i'm joined by ed shultz here in the studio and kerry eleveld, my co-host today. the president is in montana today. ed, your thoughts on where things stand now a couple of weeks into this recess? >> i think it's a golden opportunity for the president because he is going into the
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back yaured yard of max baucus. i understand the senator is in the crowd but not on the stage. >> chairman of the finance committee, president is going to his home state but he is not on stage with the president? >> that's what i'm told. he will be in the crowd but not on the stage. i think the president should call the senator up on stage and say you're against public option and i'm for it so let's have a discussion. even after chuck grassley out on the stump talking about a death panel which is completely false, they still have olive branches. >> linda douglas who works for the white house? >> absolutely. the communications director working on this. i've never seen a white house respond the way obama white house is responding to this. the more they get attacked the more olive branches they have and this is frustratinging a lot of liberals and progressives in this country because we want them to fight back. you can't get anything done legislatively in this country
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unless you fight. that is our culture. a feeling among progressers in this country that president obama is not fighting the way we want him to fight. they are saying too many olive branches saying, look, we want this and got to have this. a contentious crowd in montana today could help the president's cause. >> what does the white house have to gain in terms of making this a bipartisan effort? they went after bipartisanship on the stimulus. did they get anything? >> they got three republican votes but i don't think you're going to get much more on health care reform on that either. i'm with you on that. i really do believe they are going to go the road of reconciliation and go the 50 votes and impose the rules of the senate to get health care reform. i don't see insurance companies in this country, let's get rit of preexisting conditions. i want to see that one. >> sarah taylor, you were the political director in the white house and involved in several high profile presidential successful campaigns. what are your thoughts on where things stand for the obama white
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house on this health care fight and where things stand frankly for republicans? >> well, i think to answer ed's point, i think what they get out of a bipartisan bill is they take a very contentious issue off the table for the 2010 election. if they ram this bill through with no republican support, to think they're having trouble getting democratic support at this point, but if they were to do that, boy, i wouldn't want to be the democratic political director in that white house. >> kevin madden, what do you see as someone who has looked at this for a long time, including while you served as the spokesman for former governor mitt romney? >> sure. you look at governor romney's success on universal health care it was achieved with a vast and' large degree of democrat support in the massachusetts legislature, of all places. but i think sarah's point is the most important one. if there would be a partisan
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approach on health care and the white house would get a bill viewed by bipartisanship as the republicans they would pay a tremendous price in the poll in 2010. the president's coalition for winning in 2008 was built on the backs of democrats and independents and the most troubling sign for this president has to be he is losing independent support. independents are largely being driven away from the democrat approach on health care because it is a debate that is being largely driven by costs and when you have a price tag on this that is a trillion plus at a time of enormous bailout fatigue and economic anxiety it's not helping them make the case for health care reform. >> ed shultz is shaking his head already, kevin. >> ed never agrees with me! >> sometimes i do, kevin, but on this one, i think that a bipartisan agreement, if it can be reached, but we got to listen to the people. the people in this country are confused right now. i've had a number of senators tell me they go out and the questions they are fielding right now, where did that come
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from? when you have senator grassley saying there is a death panel when there isn't it puts fears in the hearts and minds of a lost americans and makes getting a partisan bill a lot tougher because you got some people peeling off from where the president is. >> you have to remember, ed -- i'm sorry. go ahead. >> the point, i think is that the obama white house can't forget who took him to the dance. the american people want health care reform. they want this public option. they want competition. but now they are being scared with panels and costs and everything else. >> well, look. i agree with your analysis but i disagree with your tonic. what you have to remember is that the brand of obama was one that was post-partisan. he talked about changing the status quo in washington, so he set this bar very high for bipartisanship. so if you were to go through and be an author or accomplice on a partisan approach, it would degrade his brand with the most
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critical secretary of the elect rat and that is independents. >> i think part of the change he is talking about is removing the lobbyists with influence of any kind of reform that is going to take place instead of having the insurance agent between you and your doctor the counterpunch by the conservatives have been the government is going to be there and that has created a great deal of confusion. >> hold on one second. kerry, i hear what both guys are saying and it strikes me that president obama instead of doing the question and answer session he did on health care needs an lbj like go to the nation prime time speech and let the august recess play out but then he has got to go to the nation. >> he did do that and it didn't work. >> when did he do that? >> he did a prime time. >> no. i'm talking about an oval office speech, what you're talking, right? >> i think lbj's we shall overcome. >> oh, okay. >> i think that is more critical. sarah taylor, what would you be saying to president george w. bush who also found himself tackling an ambitious effort
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early in his second term, social security change, and, ultimately, couldn't get it to where he needed to get it? why would you guide the obama white house? >> i would say to the obama white house is slow down. one of the challenges with this misinformation, i think there is a lot of it out there, is that this was too much, too soon, too fast. >> but -- >> no, listen to me. because you put out a thousand-page plus bill where many members of congress admit they haven't even read it. when folks show up to these town hall meetings and they believe their member of congress probably didn't even read the bill, you know, who are they going to believe? and that is been one of the of the challenges. this is such a topic. you know, yes, these people brought obama to the dance so to speak and voted for him but 92% of the people who voted for him had good health coverage. >> kerry, what do you say to that? you've heard president obama say over and over again that delay is the enemy of progress here.
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that we've been talking with about this for four, six decades and if we keep waiting on this not like new ideas that haven't been analyzed previously. >> this is not new. my question for kevin or sarah do the deservetives have a chance of suffering here because they fed into and stoked a lot of this mission information. the information about death panels and if we're talking about alienating independents i think that is a real question for conservatives. >> i don't think death panels and a lot of the rhetorical extremes that both sides are taking on this, those for and against it, are driving this debate. i think one thing driving the american anxiety is the price tg. i think there is always going to be flourishes of rhetoric on both sides that really going to get the tv cameras to cover it, but, right now, what is driving
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these people's anxiety and, quite frankly, the president's approval and congress' approval rating on this is the cost. >> kevin, kevin, the american people need to know that barack obama, the president, is not lying and chuck grassley is. there is a real difference here. the president in new hampshire last week said if you make over 250 we're coming after your income and you is have to pay more taxes. he has been very clear about that. in the meantime, chuck grassley is saying there is a death panel. that is totally false! misinformation is coming from the conservative movement! >> look. there is a very complex debate on the issues of, like, comparative effectiveness and end of life counseling. a very complex debate there. and i think it would be great if the american public could have a debate on that but that will not get a lot of tv coverage. >> kevin, i apologize. we have to leave it there and go to the eunice kennedy shriver funeral right now. we see maria shriver, her
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daughter, speaking. let's listen in. you see vice president joe biden there on the front row. >> to a pioneer, to a trailblazer to a civil rights advocate of legendary proportions to a force of human nature who more than held her own in a family of highly competitive, high achieving men. she was, indeed, a transformative figure, but to her five children, mark, bobby, timmy, and anthony, to all of us, she was simply mummy. mummy was our hero. she was scary, hard and not afraid to show it. she was tough, but also compassionate. driven, but also relief and funny and competitive but also empathetic and restless and patient and curious and careful. she liked to hang with the guys, but all her heroes, except for
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her brother jack, were women. she had a husband who was totally devoted to her in every sense of that word. a man who marveled at everything she said and everything she did. he didn't mind if her hair was a mess, if she walked around in a wet bathing suit, if she beat him at tennis or challenged his ideas. he let her rip and he let her roar and he loved everything about her. add that to five kids who adored her and loved to be with her and you have the ultimate role model. mummy was all of our best friends and it was an honor for all of us to be her children and a special privilege for me to be her daughter. now, that's not to say it was always being her kid because she wasn't exactly like any other mother you'd ever seen. as a young girl, i didn't actually know how to process her appearance much at the time
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because most of the mothers were dressed up and kind of neatly k he coffed. mummy wore men's pants and she smoked cuban cigars and played tackle football. she would come to pick us all unfortunate at school in her blue lincoln comfortable and hair flying in the wind and usually pencils and pen in it. the car would be filled with all of these boys and their friends and their animals. she would have on a cashmere center with notes pinned to it to remind her what she needed to do when she got home and more often than that, the sweater would be covering a bathing suit so she could come home and be in a water polo game. when the nuns would announce her arrival, i would run for cover. mummy, when she wasn't trying to beat us in tennis or on the football field you could usually find her at mass with our father, praying or working. and i mean really working. she was, as you all know,
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determined to change the world for people with intellectual disabilities and she did. and you had no choice but to join her in her mission. which took all of us from our back yard to every state in this nation and just as many countries around the world. our mother never rested. she never stopped. she was moment 'em on wheels. she was focused, relentless and she got the job done. today, when i close my mind and i'm sure this goes for my brothers as well and we think about our mother, we see her clapping her hands and cheering us all on in everything she did, in everything we did. i see her encouraging me to beat my brothers in tennis. i see her moving my books from the back of the book store to the front of the book store. and when the manager would call and tell her she couldn't do that, she would tell him to go right back behind the desk where he belonged and be quiet.
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i hear her when i would call her on the phone at 15, she sent me to africa to live with a family there and i called to complain that there was no running water, no toilet, and i was sleeping with five men and she said, i don't want to hear one more yip out of you. get your job done and don't come back until you're finished. i heard one more yip out of you a lot. i seen her urging my father to take her everywhere with my brothers including into a baltimore orioles locker room. i see her loving each and every one of us equally. while she counseled me that she was raising me in a man's world, she let me know that there was no doubt in her mind that i could compete, that i should compete, and that i could win. mummy was, indeed, a trailblazer. she showed up in her life as herself and that takes courage.
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she took adversity and turned it into advantage. snired by the rejection she saw many women face, especially her sister rosemary and her mother and other mothers of special children, she turned that into her life focus and her life's passion and mission. her own brand what have i call maternal feminism. she believed 100% in the power and the gifts of women to change the language, the tempo, and the character of this world. her heroes were the virgin mary, mother teresa, dorothy day, her own mother, her sister, rosemary and all of whom, in her eye, had already done that and she would always challenge each of us to do the same. you will, she said, you must, you can. if she were here today and speaking here and i think we all wish she were, she would pound this podium, she would quote
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deshardan and ask each of you what you have done today to better the world. she would tell you stories about her special friends and what they have accomplished and she would ask each and every one of you to join her in making this world a more tolerant, just, and compassionate place. she would end by talking about her own family, how grateful she was to her parents and to her brothers and sisters, all of whom she absolutely adored. she would tell you how proud she was of sargent and then she would tell you how proud she was of each of us and she would tell you about each thing each of us did and then she would ask you for money from all four of my brothers, who run nonprofits. they will probably ask you later, but she would ask you. on behalf of them, save the children, red, best buddies, special olympics. and then she would remind all of you that you hadn't done enough
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and that there was much more to do and you would leave this church simply in awe of her. mummy was, indeed, a towering figure. i'm sure everybody in this church has a story about her, a story that would make you laugh, would make you cry, a story that would make you roll your eyes at her audacity and her brilliance. she was the real deal, a woman who did everything women aspire to. she had a great husband, she had a great family, a deep, deep faith in god, and she combined that with being a fearless warrior for the voiceless. i am so thrilled, as i know my brothers are, that people all over the world are hearing about her this week in editorials and on television, because they need to hear stories about individuals like mummy. i'm especially glad that young women are hearing about her, because she was a woman who didn't choose and women are often told you have to choose to
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be this or that, this kind of woman, you have to dress this way, talk this way, you have to have one opinion. well, mummy wasn't like that. she didn't choose. she let all of the different parts of her go out and that is what made her unique. she didn't allow herself to be tamed or contained. she achieved herself, her true authentic self. the very same woman who made grown men quake in their boots when she stepped foot on capitol hill was the very same woman who spent quality time with each and every one of us, making us feel loved, making us believe in ourselves. she spent quality time with each of those grandchildren you saw here on this altar, building sand castles and looking for leprechauns and looking for mermaids. she didn't choose between being strong and soft, complex or simple. as her story goes out this week, i believe that she will become a new torch bearers for women of
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our time, sending a new message, as i said, that you don't have to be a certain way. you don't have to fit a stereotype that over your life you can have a full, complete, spiritual life, a life that is about others and a life that is about family. her story, i believe, teaches us that women are complex and that they can live out every simple single aspect of that complexity. in closing, let me say this in the last few years of her life, i found mummy to be almost more awe-inspiring than in her 85 years. she, who never sat still, was forced to confront stillness and it was hard for her. but she never complained and she never asked for pity. she fought and she fought and she fought right up until her very last breath. over the years, all of us learned so much from her by listening to her, by watching her.
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and this past year, i learned from her as well. as she softened, she gave me permission to do the same, as she sat still, she taught me how important that is in one's life. she taught us that real strength can also be found in real vulnerability, that it's okay, even important to lean on those who love you. now, if you had told me a few years ago that at the end of my mother's life she and i would sit in a room and just be, i would have said you are crazy. if you had told me that at the age of 52, i would finally get up the nerve to crawl in bed with my mother, hold her and tell her that i love her, i would have said you were nuts. and if you had told me that mummy and i would would write poetry together, i would know for sure that you had lost your mind but all of those things really happened as mummy learned to let go. at the end of her life, she was strong and vulnerable.
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she was tired and tireless. determined, and also ready to surrender to god. she did it all. she lived it all. and she loved us all. to be honest, i think it's impossible for each us to think about our life without mummy. it's interesting as we talked amongst us the last couple of days, each of us felt like an only child. each of us felt as though our mother was our best friend. each of us talked to her every day and sometimes more than once. and, of course, i think if i said to my mother, which i often did, i can't go on without you, i don't know how to live without you, she would say, you're fine, i've raised you well and now get out there, i don't want to hear one more yip, get going, your brothers will be nice to you. and so i will, we all will get
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up and get going. but i wanted to leave you with this little poem that my mother and i wrote together in a hospital room in boston. i read it to her several times and she liked it a lot. it has no name but i thought she would like me to share it with you. it goes like this. thank you, mummy, for giving me the breath of life. thank you for giving me a push over and over again. thank you for doing your best. here we are, you and me, now it's you needing the breath of life. now it's you needing the push. you did it for me. let me do it for you. your love has brought me to my knees. i cannot breathe without you. i cannot think without you. i am lost without you. here we are, you and me. the clouds are gone, the sky is
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clear. you are the star in my sky. you are the music in my heart. do you hear it? listen. listen. mummy, you are the trumpet of my life. amen. >> we just have been listening to maria shriver, daughter of eunice kennedy shriver, who just passed away at the age of 88. she was the founder of the special olympics. we heard the 5 it daughter of
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eunice shriver kennedy speak of her as mummy and encouraging her to be strong and do the right thing and even tough it out against her brothers. well, do they know this malibu offers an epa estimated 33 mpg highway? they never heard that. which is better than a comparable toyota camry or honda accord? they're stunned. they can't believe it. they need a minute. i had a feeling they would. there's never been more reasons to look at chevy.
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welcome back to "msnbc live." i'm carlos watson. now, safety concerns are growing for next week's presidential election in afghanistan. taliban militants are warning residents not to vote, threatening, in fact, deadly violence at polling stations. meantime, a terrific new hbo documentary tells the tragic story of an afghan interpreter who was kidnapped and killed after his work helping an american journalist. >> the taliban, they are very, you know, wise guys and they know the difference between a civilian, a journalist, and, you know, a soldier.
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>> they're all really dangerous, or could be, not all of them, but you never know, man. you never know. >> ian oels is the director of the hbo documentary. and an american journalist whose relationship with the afghan interpreter is shown in the documentary. guys, thank you both for joining me today. ian, i'll turn to you first. you're saying this is a familiar story. in order to gather the news in war zones, whether it's afghanistan, iraq, other places, frequently a local is hired. >> yeah. i didn't have a lot of experience in war zones. i made films in iraq called "occupation dreamland." that's when i first saw the dynamics between journalists and fixers. so i asked christian if i could join him on a trip to afghanistan to witness that relationship. and that's a very specific dynamic. >> christian, what did the fixers do?
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>> fixers interpret, you know, so they speak both languages, and they also arrange or fix interviews. and, you know, usually you work closely with your fixer and you're living with them and journalists also come to glean a sort of behind-the-scenes view of the culture and the conflict. >> and a fixer often, i'm assuming, in some cases, may have to pay people off, may have to negotiate some difficult situations, may have to get some otherwise difficult to get information as well. >> the fixer is definitely a journalist. it's part of the reporting process. >> so tell why he would do this or why any fixer would do this, because we've heard enough stories about fixers being kidnapped, being killed, being tafrrgeted. so why would a fixer do this? >> one, he didn't realize the risks. also, he did it, the reason most journalists do it, because he felt that the stories were important. you know, he felt that getting the story of his country out was useful and good for the people
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in his country. >> and at the same time, there's a financial element too. because in afghanistan, the standard salary is $70 a month, where a fixer can make $500 a day, in certain circumstances. so he was supporting his entire family. there's that element as well. and the higher stakes interview, setting up a taliban interview gets a lot of money. >> so the story becomes even more dramatic, because both he and one of his clients get kidnapped, but they don't both return home safely. >> yeah. i started the film about mechanics of journalism and once when he was kidnapped, i thought about completely abandoning the project. because it seemed to me he was killed and that was too tragic to use his death for a dramatic device. so when i saw all this material i had of him, it became an obligation to go back and tell his story. it's someone who is caught up in a web of history and power and
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trying to evoke while never losing sight of the man is the goal of the vim. >> i'm to bring in carrie elveld, my guest cohost today. carrie, what do you think as you hear this story? >> i'm sitting here listening to this and thinking, look, fixers are really the life and death of a situation for a reporter. if you don't have a good fixer, that is just the most important thing in terms of reporting stories and reporting them safely. so it makes me wonder, especially this film, it brings out the dangers for a fixer. if either of you two have some insights into how this is affecting journalism, as fixers themselves become more aware of how dangerous their own job is. >> well, one thing that's happening, you know, and it happened in iraq, fixers play a greater and greater role as the situation becomes more and more dangerous. because the western journalists can't go out and interview insurgents or in many cases, increasingly in afghanistan, can't travel roads they could have traveled.
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so though we don't see it here in the u.s., most of our news outlets are increasingly relying more and more on the labor of people like ajmal, many of whom were ajmal's friend. >> final word on what's become of ajmal's family? >> his family is mostly still in kabul. and one of his brothers is studying in italy. and there's been some support for them, but they're having a lot of hardship right now, just getting by. ajmal was the sole bred winner. the fixer in the film did receive political asylum. he now lives in sweden. >> the hbo documentary airs this monday on hbo. that does it for me. thank you both. very much appreciate you being here today. also want to thank today's guest cohost for joining me once again. dr. nancy snyderman picks up the coverage from here. what do you have coming up? >> we have a special edition of
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"dr. nancy" today. we're going to look at all the controversy, the concern, the confusion, the mistruths around health care reform in this country. we're going to take it to the experts. it's approaching noon on the east coast. not only is the doctor in, but some of the smartest people in the country is in and we'll take your questions after this quick break. mr. evans? this is janice from onstar. i have received an automatic signal you've been in a front-end crash. do you need help?
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yeah. i'll contact emergency services and stay with you. you okay? yeah. onstar. standard for one year on 14 chevy models. but i've still g room for the internet. with my new netbook from at&t. with its built-in 3g network, it's fast and small, so it goes places other laptops can't. i'm bill kurtis, and wherever i go, i've got plenty of room for the internet. and the nation's fastest 3g network. gun it, mick. (announcer) sign up today and get a netbook for $199.99 after mail-in rebate. with built-in access to the nation's fastest 3g network. only from at&t.

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MSNBC News Live
MSNBC August 14, 2009 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news and current news events. New.

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